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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/27/22

Players “outraged” at owners’ reaction to latest proposal; DJ LeMahieu optimistic lockout could end soon; Yankees could have positional logjams on the farm; Jasson Dominguez, Anthony Volpe impress at minicamp.

MLB: Contract Negotiations The Palm Beach Post-USA TODAY NETWORK

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: The MLBPA made a significant proposal to the league yesterday, and the noise after the meetings was not positive. The owners reportedly “reacted badly” to the proposal, which saw the union attempt to compromise with the league on a number of issues, including the arbitration system and the CBT. In turn, the players’ side was reportedly furious. It seemed like there was some momentum building midweek in the talks between the two sides, but the owners refusal to accept anything other than a resounding win for their side looks like it could ground things to a halt yet again.

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees could have multiple positional logjams up the middle on the farm this year. The team has a few talented shortstops, and also a number of catchers, which has led to speculation that 2020 first-rounder Austin Wells could be moved from behind the plate. In the early days of 2022, however, the Yankees have sounded committed to allowing Wells to continue his development at catcher, and Wells himself sounds optimistic as well, citing how much the Yankee staff has helped him with his framing: “That’s [been] the biggest jump. It was night and day from when I got here til now.” | Brenday Kuty: This past week, many Yankee minor leaguers that aren’t on the 40-man roster (and thus aren’t locked out) reported to the club’s complex in Tampa for a minicamp. Unsurprisingly, many have come away impressed by Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez. Both top prospects obviously have immense physical gifts, and both also reportedly showed off the plus makeup that the Yankees have seemingly prioritized in their prospects.

New York Post | Mark W. Sanchez: Count DJ LeMahieu among those who are more optimistic about the season starting on time. The infielder asserts “it sounds like we’re far away. But I really don’t think we’re that far away. I mean, I don’t think we are.” LeMahieu may have a point; for as far apart as the sides sound on most days (yesterday included), the bulk of the players’ asks (a higher minimum salary, bumps in the CBT thresholds), really wouldn’t change the structure of the league much at all. LeMahieu also had interesting things to say about unity on the players’ side this time around, noting that during the pandemic negotiations of 2020, things were “much more disorganized”. From the outside, it definitely seems as though the union has been more united and uniform in its messaging during the lockout.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Sherman texted Brett Gardner’s agent about the outfielder’s 2022 plans, and it sounds like Gardner fully intends to play another season. His agent stated that Gardner’s preference would be a return to New York, but insisted that other teams could be on the table, perhaps in an attempt to maintain some sort of leverage in contract talks with the Yankees.